Instant Observations: Eagles Vs. Jaguars

Here are instant observations from tonight’s Eagles-Jaguars game.

OFFENSE

* The first-team offense looked more like the unit we saw in 2012 than the group that ran Chip Kelly’s system pretty smoothly in the first two preseason games. Michael Vick and company had seven possessions. The results: a touchdown, three field goals, an interception and two punts. The lone TD came after a Connor Barwin interception gave the Eagles possession at the Jacksonville 21. Three of the team’s four scoring drives came with starting field position in Jaguars’ territory.

* Vick went 15-for-23 for 184  yards, a touchdown and an interception. He held on to the ball too long and made questionable decisions. He got little help from the offensive line, which turned in its worst performance of the preseason. Vick was sacked twice and hit seven times. One storyline coming in was that the Eagles had all their starters in the game: Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson. The line looked shaky, although if you’re looking for a bright spot, it was probably Peters, who was playing in his first game in more than 19 months.

* Vick targeted Brent Celek seven times, completing four for 54 yards. He also fired a bullet to Riley Cooper for a 9-yard score on the team’s lone TD. Vick had seven runs for 53 yards in the first half.

* We saw Vick under center on multiple snaps in the first half. The Eagles have been going almost exclusively shotgun in the preseason. Didn’t seem like we saw as much read-option either.

* There seemed to be pre-snap confusion on multiple plays. On one, Jason Avant and Bryce Brown set up in the backfield, but couldn’t get lined up properly. The Eagles called a timeout.

* Damaris Johnson lost a fumble on a punt return in the first, but rebounded with a couple of excellent returns later in the half.

* Vick threw a bad interception off his back foot, looking for DeSean Jackson.

* Avant had a spectacular one-handed grab on a screen that was deflected at the line of scrimmage.

* It seemed like Kelce had a rough go, which included an errant shotgun snap in the second.

* The Eagles’ first-team offense came back out at the start of the third and were moving the football. But Bryce Brown fumbled trying to dive into the end zone, and Jacksonville got the ball back on a touchback.

* Nick Foles didn’t get into the game until there were three seconds left in the third quarter. The Eagles went for it on fourth down during his first possession. Chris Polk picked up the necessary yardage, but Allen Barbre was called for holding on the play.

* Foles and the Eagles 50 yards on five plays, moving at a fast pace in the fourth. Brown finished the drive with a 4-yard TD run.

* Late in the fourth, Foles, Brown and the offense went 99 yards to take a 31-24 lead. Foles finished 10-for-11 112 yards. Polk scored on a 4-yard run and also found the end zone for a two-point conversion.

DEFENSE

* It was an up-and-down performance for this unit. On their first drive, the Eagles allowed Chad Henne and the Jaguars to go 90 yards on 12 plays for a touchdown. Henne found Justin Blackmon for a 17-yard touchdown. There appeared to be confusion between safety Patrick Chung and Bradley Fletcher on the first play.

* Mychal Kendricks was a bright spot. He brought Maurice Jones-Drew down for no gain early on, had a sack and batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage.

* Fletcher Cox was also very active, with three tackles. He showed off his athleticism, chasing Henne down near the sidelines on a third down in the second.

* The defense allowed a 63-yard touchdown run to Jordan Todman in the second. Chung got blocked by a tight end, and Earl Wolff took a terrible angle to the ball. Wolff rotated in with Nate Allen in the first half.

* Because the first drive lasted 12 plays, the Eagles rotated Clifton Geathers, Bennie Logan and Damion Square in on the defensive line. Brandon Graham and Chris McCoy also came in for Barwin and Trent Cole.

* Barwin was outstanding in the first half. He lined up over the slot, showed great concentration and picked off a Henne pass. Later, he picked up a sack.

* Cedric Thornton also had a first-half sack. Geathers had a good rush vs. Luke Joeckel in the second.

* The defense gave up a 14-play, 80-yard drive to start the second half. Brandon Boykin was called for pass interference in the red zone. Kelly challenged the call, arguing that the ball was tipped, but the refs ruled that wasn’t the case.

* Vinny Curry got on the field to start the second half and made an immediate impact. He burst through the backfield on a run play and notched a pair of QB hurries.

* Did you notice the camera catching the Eagles’ Bart Simpson placard on the sidelines in the third?

* Brandon Boykin was called for holding in the third, but the penalty should have been on Jordan Poyer.

* Eagles cornerbacks got dinged-up. Brandon Hughes suffered a fractured left hand. Eddie Whitley left the game with a knee injury.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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